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Securing a pathway for students at risk of becoming NEET

At Newcastle’s Excelsior Academy, a range of interventions helped a year 13 student secure her pathway after leaving school.

Toni, who had studied at Excelsior since primary school, was at risk of becoming NEET. She feared becoming isolated if she stayed on to study in year 14, as her friends were not planning to stay on at the school; she felt that she didn’t have the skills needed to begin an apprenticeship or go into employment; and she lacked the confidence to apply for a Further Education course at Newcastle College.

With support from Excelsior’s Careers Adviser and from the Connexions service, Toni created her first CV and began to explore her options, starting with apprenticeships. 

Toni also took part in a group visit to Newcastle College, which was aimed at a small group of students at risk of becoming NEET. Following the visit and a workshop jointly led by Newcastle College and Excelsior staff, Toni was supported throughout the process of applying and interviewing for a hairdressing course at the college.

A range of support is the key to success

Receiving support from a range of people, including with her family, over a sustained period of time enabled Toni to secure her destination after leaving school.

A mixture of personal guidance, workshops, and contact with a further education provider not only led to a positive outcome for this individual student, but also allowed Excelsior Academy to strengthen its network of contacts and to develop a model of intervention which can benefit other students in the future. 

Toni began to study hairdressing at Newcastle College in September 2019. 

Top tips for success:

  • Combine a range of types of interventions over a sustained period of time, with a CEIAG co-ordinator to record impact.
  • Allow the CEIAG adviser the freedom to try out different combinations of interventions.
  • The combined support of Connexions and other providers, teachers, management and students is vital.

Three biggest challenges:Not starting exposure to outside providers early enough in the academic year.

  • Students being difficult to contact, being unused to talking to outside providers, and attendance being unreliable.
  • Wider school staff and managers not being aware of the careers programme or reasons for types and timings of interventions.

For more details, contact Careers Leader, Deon Krishnan, on [email protected]